As a huge college basketball fan on a six-year streak of going to the Final Four, I’m disappointed that there will be no fans in the crowd for March Madness, but it was the right call.
And Americans agree. A Purple Pulse Poll found 84% of the informed public believe the NCAA’s decision to close arenas to fans was the right one.
And among the most passionate March Madness fans, 43% said they would be even more likely to watch games. Only 8% said it would cause them to watch less.
The decision to prioritize player and public health is likely to give the NCAA a much needed boost to its reputation, which has been under fire for years. Among those who regularly follow sports news, 52% believe the NCAA would do anything to maintain its power even if it meant harming student athletes (compared to only 21% who believe they would sacrifice power for the good of student athletes). But making this difficult decision around their marquee event will likely serve as powerful evidence of their commitment to student athletes, with the March Madness decision leading sports fans to a 62% favorable/11% unfavorable view of the NCAA.
Purple Pulse Survey of the Informed Public. N=1,000. March 11-12.
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